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What is Retailtainment?

Understand how the concept of ‘retailtainment’ creates new opportunities for retailers and impacts your brand.

Other than the food you purchased, what do you remember about your most recent grocery shopping trip? Maybe your favorite brand ran an offer you couldn’t pass up, so you stocked up. Perhaps you had the pleasure of getting stuck with that one cart with the rickety wheel. Chances are, you probably scanned your own items in the self-checkout once the cashier lines extended past the magazines and into the main aisle. Sound familiar? Same-old, same-old, right?

Maybe you’re thinking, “Well, yeah, that just sounds like my weekly obligatory grocery run. It’s necessary, not memorable.”

And that’s a common pain point many local and regional grocers deal with in today’s challenging retail environment. Not only is competition already fierce, but now new conveniences, such as shopping online for at-home delivery or in-store pickup, bombard consumers on a daily basis. Retailers, struggling to maintain a memorable presence in their customers’ minds, are looking to update, innovate and generate new ideas to connect with shoppers in-store and ultimately drive sales.

Retailtainment as a concept is not an entirely new thing, but lately has become the trendy buzzword that’s worth your attention.

Simply put, retailtainment is the “convergence of shopping and entertainment.” 

If you’ve ever gone to the grocery store only to discover they’re hosting a rib fest on the parking lot, wellness event near the pharmacy or kids’ activity booth next to the courtesy counter, that’s retailtainment. Oftentimes, it’s an experience the retailer can coordinate and manage internally, but it’s just as common now for brands themselves to execute an event using the retailer as their platform from which to promote.

The goal of retailtainment is undeniably sales-driven. Retailers are looking for more in-store foot traffic and brands want to get their product off the shelf. Yet at the same time, making personal connections with consumers is arguably just as valuable, especially for locally-based brands looking to grow.

What does retailtainment look like in action?

Typically, a retailtainment event is comprised of three components:

  1. Brand ambassadors who execute the event and connect with shoppers

  2. Sampling or giveaways provided to shoppers to drive purchase 

  3. Activities or other entertainment offered for shoppers to experience

Okay, we get it, you want examples. Let’s take a look:

1. Power of the Pink

Power of the Pink Retailtainment Event

Activated within Walmart stores across two Midwestern regions, Power of the Pink, a breast cancer awareness program, served uninsured or underinsured women with free mammograms using local breast health services. The program assigned mammography vans to select Walmart stores to host events on the parking lots and tied in regional and national vendors to support the program in-store.

Since 2010, Walmart and the participating vendors have received an average 4:1 in-store lift while supporting the movement and retailtainment events over a four-week period.

2. Family of the Game

Family of the Game Retailtainment Events

For the 2018 baseball season, our team provided support, management and execution for twelve “Ritz Family Fun” retailtainment events, presented by Nabisco in partnership with the St. Louis Cardinals and hosted in St. Louis area Shop ‘n Save stores (pre-UNFI acquisition of parent company SuperValu).

Our brand ambassador teams contributed to over 1,000 on-site contest entries over the course of the promotion and on average, sampled nearly 20 cases of Nabisco product to shoppers per event. The Highway K location alone experienced a 16.2% increase in Nabisco sales year over year after hosting a single three-hour event.

3. Kids BEE Healthy

Kids BEE Healthy Retailtainment Event

Kids BEE Healthy, a Dierbergs Markets initiative, focuses on encouraging a healthy lifestyle for kids through better nutrition and regular exercise. This year, the program launched retailtainment events with the St. Louis Blues’ Street Team and mascot, Louie!

Dierbergs chose four store locations around St. Louis for hockey-themed activities with the Street Team and sampling opportunities for participating vendors using Cliffedge’s brand ambassadors. Momentum grew with each event, as families arrived ahead of the event schedule dressed in their best Blues gear.

Participating vendors also received placement on the Kids BEE Healthy landing page, Dierbergs’ weekly circulars and in-store POS, a digital coupon on the Dierbergs app, and more. And that only scratches the surface!

Retailtainment strives to entice shoppers back into brick-and-mortar stores, as well as engage the shoppers who never left.  Retailers use this creative method to reach their communities and allow brands to activate in a localized setting, improving their connection to consumers and reaching their sales goals.

At Cliffedge Marketing, we manage and execute retailtainment events within retail and c-store locations in St. Louis and beyond using our trained team of brand ambassadors. Find out what we’re up to on Facebook or LinkedIn!

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